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Monday, 15 March 2010

The Kiss of Death (by Marcus Sedgwick)

by Marcus Sedgwick
Release date : September 2008
Marcus Sedgwick's tale of Venice and vampires is a captivating companion volume to the bestselling My Swordhand is SingingMarko and Sorrel meet in Venice for the first time. They must uncover the mystery of what has happened both to Sorrel's father, plagued by a strange madness that prevents him from sleeping, and to Marko's father, a doctor, who has mysteriously gone missing after travelling to Venice to help his old friend. Years on from My Swordhand is Singing and Peter is still on the trail of the Shadow Queen. His search leads him to Venice, a city whose beauty disguises many ugly secrets. The Shadow Queen is there, gathering strength, recruiting a new army of the Undead for a final confrontation.
MY THOUGHTS : A thrilling read, a story written with care and finesse and with a subtle and enjoyable voice. I was immersed in this magical Venice right from the first lines. The relationships between the characters play an important part in the story, which gives depth and a little something more to the base of the plot, revolving around horror and death. There is suspense, action, mystery, emotion, and you can read between the lines more than once. The protagonists are engaging and original, and very well characterized.

I guess it must be even nicer to read this book after having read the first one, My Swordhand is Singing. But the plot is understandable for readers who have not read it (like me) and I wasn't lost nor frustrated.

A very nice addition : each major section concludes with some history concerning the Shadow Queen, told like a tale which explains who she was before becoming this horrible woman and what led her to become like that.

I really enjoyed this book ! I recommend it to lovers of magic, vampires, mystery, Venice and 18th century's misty atmosphere.


  1. I have read My Swordhand is Singing. I didn't realise they were connected. This is one of the few books by Marcus Sedgwick that I have yet to read. He is one of my favourite authors. Great review. I must buy this!

  2. Great review. This title is new to me :)

  3. I almost bought this, but I bought one other by him once (The Book of the Dead, I think it was called -- had a great cover), and I couldn't get into it at all. But this:
    "written with care and finesse and with a subtle and enjoyable voice..."
    has me intrigued, because that appeals to me greatly. Maybe it'll be a library borrow sometime.

  4. Great review, made me want to read this and My Swordhand is Singing :)

  5. I've never heard of this book or My Swordhand is Singing (I love this title!), but this one does sound quite lovely.


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